Sunday, October 9, 2011

Placing Poland: Szczecin

Daytrip from BerlinThe parents are here and on day 5 of European travel. We have big plans for a trip to Hungary, Bratislava, & Vienna next week but since we are so close to Poland, why not a day trip? We didn't just want to hop the border for some nowhere, so we set our sights on Szczecin (auf deutsch Stettin). It reportedly had a Duke's castle, a tourist map with red line guided tour, and was only about 2 hours away. Plus - the train ticket was a Brandenburger ticket, meaning it would only cost 28 euro for all 4 of us to travel there & back. Bonus!

It didn't turn out exactly as we hoped, but was still an experience. Once again, we have decided to rate the cities we are visiting with our parental units. This town might not have stacked up so well, but there is more to come. 

Introducing our Raters:

cheryl "kept her last name" mendenhall - fan of no cap writing, genealogy, and an avid volunteer in youth organization Snohomish 4-H horse Program. Also, my mum. 

Dave "the goldminer" Ball - Yes, this man is a real life goldminer (he's gotta strike it rich one of these days amirite? At least he hopes so). He is also a Boeing machinist, fixer of anything, and political letter writer (if not sender).

If you don't know us (Ian & ebe / PorterBalls), here's a little how we came to be, and to be in Berlin.

 Szczecin Ratings:

Ratings will be done in potatoes. These are the opinions of our fine raters in not an iota of any official capacity. 

Transportation  in Szczecin


Brandenburger Ticket
Standing passengers
.5 Potatoes - It was a miserable trip there except for the landscapes.


2 Potatoes - Packed like sardines on the train ride there. They could have used some Japanese pushers.

3.5 Potatoes - Very convenient to get there from Berlin. Unfortunately - everyone else had the same idea. 
Ian takes a seat

2.5 Potatoes - We took a Brandenburger ticket there which allows for 5 people to ride for a day within the state (including Berlin & some places in Poland) for 28 euros. Total steal! 

Unfortunately, we did not estimate that the train would only be 2 cars, already completely full from picking up at the Zoo & Hauptbahnhof station. A lot of standing for 2 hours, though everyone was unexpectedly kind and making the best of the situation.

Within the city there were trams, buses, and a red line that took you by the cities attractions. It was pretty walkable with just a few hills. And the train ride back was much much better with a double- decker. But that morning...


N/A for our daytrip as we retuned to Berlin.

Sights in Szczecin

Bizarre signs. Sexual assault along with your teeth cleaning!
Stocks at Palace
Baltic Sea from cannon

4 Potatoes - Beautiful historical sights that need repair.


Red Line Tour
2.5 Potatoes - Mixture of authentic surrounded by strip malls & poor apartment buildings. (He noted very bad patchwork on original buildings which irritated the carpenter in him).

2.5 Potatoes - Some really cool things, but really decentralized. 

3.5 Potatoes - The red line was a great tool to easily see what the city had to offer. As a relatively poor place with basic architecture, it was not as exciting as hoped. A lack of central town square or any kind of centralized attractions was difficult. I did love the red brick work.

Pottery Store - CLOSED
Dining in Szczecin


Polish food daytrip berlin
4.5 Potatoes - Charming restaurant. Comfort food.

3.5 Potatoes - Cozy little restaurant. Delicious food.

3.5 Potatoes - Not a lot of options, but when we did find a place it was delicious. Best perogis ever. 

Polish food daytrip berlin
4.5 Potatoes - Had to wander a bit to find a place, and it looked inauspicious, but was really delicious. We got borscht, perogies, and savory pancakes with chicken, spinach, and garlic sauce. Seriously delicious, hearty and cheap! Big up.


3 Potatoes- It has promise of a good future. We had a lovely lunch, but the buildings have fallen into disrepair. They need to get their act together for people to come visit.

3 Potatoes - Fun being in a different country. Rainy weather detracted form sightseeing a little bit.

2 Potatoes- For such a large city, not a lot going on for a Saturday afternoon.l We expected more shops to be open. A nice place, but behind it's time. 

2.5 Potatoes - A nice place, but I don't know if it is really an exciting visit. We wanted to get the parents to Poland and it did that. We got a glimpse of the Baltic and saw some Poles. But shops & restaurants simply weren't open. The bunker tour would've been fun, but closed at 2pm. We wanted to get bowls, but couldn't find an open shop. Nice, but not needing a return visit.

Back to Berlin!
Today we are back to visiting even-more-glorious-than-usual Berlin. A brunch, a market, and some horse racing. It is shaping up to be a perfect Sunday.

UPDATE 2013: 

Stettin didn't exactly do us right for a combination of unfortunate factors. But the city is not a total loss for those looking for a daytrip from Berlin. The extremely talented Cheryl Howard took a similar journey to us to the Polish city and had completely different results. Check out her photography & recommendations here here & here OR Luci of Moving Postcards recently visited Stettin.

We actually tried Stettin again and it went.....ok. The visit was with two of Ian's college fraternity friends and included many beers, one missed train,  and a lot of walking. The city remains a bit of a mystery for us.

That doesn't mean we won't try again, but maybe in another couple of years.

 More pictures of our misadventures on our Facebook page.

2 comments: said...

Very good.

cheryl said...

THANKS so much for linking back to my site. I hope you make it back there sometime and enjoy it more. :)

We're Back in Berlin Ja!

We're Back in Berlin Ja!
ebe & ian at Yak-toberfest 2008